Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gearing up

Looking back to this time last year leaves me reminiscing about dog bite recovery, diwali mayhem, the mysteries of pincha mayurasana, yoga friends from around the world and the experiences I had volunteering at Odanadi  .Now every full moon I still check myself for any signs of froth at the mouth or werewolf-style hairs sprouting up in unlikely areas, but I feel like I am on a big upwards arc of learning at the moment and I can't wait to see what comes up in the next while.  Gearing up to head back to Mysore leaves me a bit nostalgic, but helping a fellow yoga student plan her first Mysore adventure has provided an opportunity to think back to my first visit and it has been fun giving her some tips on what to expect/pack/etc.  Some things I have come up with:
~Do not, DO NOT bring black havianas.  Everyone will be wearing the same ones in different sizes and the chances of leaving the shala with your own, or even two of the same size can be next to impossible.
~Bring a camera.  The opportunities for amazing photographs are endless.
~As far as practice goes, get real with yourself before you go so that you are ready for either being stopped at the postures you don't really have yet, or ready to power through the longest navasana, sirsasana and uth pluthih you have ever experienced.
~Set your clock to Shala time, which is usually about 15 minutes ahead.  It catches people out every time, so be prepared when you go register to check the clock above the door. 
~Don't bring anything other than your mat and your registration card with you to the shala.  Sharath gets grumpy when people try and bring extra stuff in the room, and I don't blame him.  It is packed in there and the bodies are big enough obstacles without piles of stuff everywhere.
~Prepare your guts by taking pro-biotics before you leave to get the good bacteria pumped up and strong, and then take some with you.  Also purchase grapefruit seed extract to fend off hungry parasites. 
~Pack clothes that is appropriate for the culture.  If you want to be endlessly stared at, take lots of knee-revealing, shoulder-baring, cleavage displaying clothes.  Otherwise, be sensible and respectful and wear something more modest that you might normally go for in hot weather. 
~Two words:  EAR PLUGS
~Bring a big book, and be prepared to pass it on in the endless web of book exchanging that can happen among the yoga students.  It may not come back to you in the long run, but there is plenty of reading material available if you look hard enough.
~Know in advance that the Indian head wobble can mean yes, no, and maybe all at the same time.  You will develop the ability to decipher this after a while, and you will also start wobbling your own head at people much sooner than you would expect. 
~Enjoy the chai but don't look at the water the glasses get washed in. 

That is all I've got off the top of my head, but if I come up with more interesting items, I will edit the post or add to it... only 16 more sleeps till take-off!

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